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High School Football: Evergreen Park rallies to nip Argo

By Steve Metsch
Correspondent

Coming off a disappointing loss to Bremen in Week 4, Evergreen Park senior Michael Torres and the Mustangs knew they had to play better on Homecoming.

“Everybody came out to watch us,” Torres said after Evergreen Park rallied for a 14-13 victory over Argo on Sept. 24. “We didn’t give up. We got the job done. That’s all that matters.”

Torres scored the game-winning touchdown on a 2-yard run with 10:21 to play in the game.

Being a senior-laden team, big things are expected from the Mustangs (4-1, 2-0), Torres said. Led by a dominant defense, they opened the season with three consecutive shutouts in which they outscored their opponents 101-0. Both the win and shutout streaks came to an end with a 34-27 loss to Bremen in a South Suburban Conference crossover on Sept. 17.

“We just have to show up every game,” said Torres, who plays running back and linebacker. “The defense is the heart of our team. Every time they show up, we’ll keep going.”

The defense certainly showed up, holding Argo scoreless in the second half and shutting down a big drive in the fourth quarter.

Senior running back James Williams played a significant role in the offense’s ability to sustain drives. Williams scored the game’s first touchdown and used his bruising running style to gobble up time.

“I’m a little more elusive and he’s just going to run through you,” Torres said.

Williams also blocked an extra point, a play which proved to be the difference in the outcome.

While the game had its share of gritty rushes and defense, there were flashy moments like the two touchdown passes from Argo quarterback Deiontae McDonald to Markus Seabrook.

They connected on a 19-yard touchdown with 7:23 left in the second quarter to knot the score at 7-7. Then, with 13 seconds left in the first half, McDonald found the senior wide receiver from 25 yards out and send the Argonauts into the break with a 13-7 lead.

McDonald said he and Seabrook have chemistry together.

“We’re the first players at practice,” McDonald said. “We work together all the time, working on deep routes, sideline catches.”

Argo was without Seabrook after he rolled an ankle midway through Argo’s final fourth-quarter drive. With wide receiver Johnathan Walker also out with an injury, Argo was left with one deep threat, speedy junior Davonte Evans.

Evans, who had earlier snuffed a Mustangs drive with an interception at the Argonaut’ 5-yard-line, gained 26 yards on a pass from McDonald to give Argo a first-and-10 at Evergreen Park’s 30-yard line. The defense went to double-coverage on him from that point on and the drive stalled, and the Mustangs’ ground game sealed the win.

“That’s a big running team,” Argo coach Tim Connelly said. “To hold them to 14 points. … They had to earn those yards.”

Argo impressed Evergreen Park coach Jerry Verde.

“In the same breath, hats off to our kids,” Verde said. “You go into halftime deflated. [The defense] gave up that touchdown, we were on the ropes and had to rally.”

Verde liked his defense and the offensive line that opened big holes for Williams, Torres and sophomore Jedidah Adjayl all night.

The Mustangs needed a win after the tough loss to the Braves, Verde said.

“This showed us is it can be a tight game and we can win,” he added. “From the standpoint of being able to adjust to what an opponent does, yes, we got the swagger back.”

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